Project number: 2018-204
Project Status:
Budget expenditure: $70,000.00
Principal Investigator: Mark J. Nikolai
Organisation: Tasmanian Association for Recreational Fishing Inc (TARFish)
Project start/end date: 30 Jun 2019 - 30 Mar 2020


The 2012/2015 & 2017 National Recreational Fishing Conferences were highly successful, enabling the recreational fishing community to gather and discuss issues of national importance. These events also catalysed four initiatives to advance fishing in Australia: development of a charter for the sector, a national fish habitat rehabilitation plan, and renewed commitment to communicating social benefits of fishing, and delivering leadership development initiatives.

The value of regular fishing sector conferences is recognised among the fishing community, and supported by FRDC, to facilitate continued progress, coordination and recognition of achievements. The next national event for the recreational fishing community is planned for 2019.

The primary aim of this event will be to engage the largest cross-section of Australia's recreational fishing community possible in discussing key issues of relevance to their sector, developing a shared vision for the future and agreeing upon strategic actions to pursue this vision. The 2019 event will be re-focused to more directly benefit grassroots recreational fishers, involving a new format, lower cost to participants, higher levels of involvement of well-known fishing personalities in the program, a focus on increased levels of participant interaction in discussions, and a series of events designed to be both informative and entertaining. The revised approach and program of this event will seek to deliver engagement of the broader recreational fishing community on a scale not previously achieved in Australia.


1. Deliver a National Recreational Fishing Conference which increases the level of meaningful engagement with the recreational fishing community in national issues of importance.
2. Engage with participants at the National Conference to identify priority actions to be progressed.
3. Acknowledgement of recreational fishing community achievements.
4. Publication of extension products from the event.

Final report

ISBN: 978-0-646-81627-2
Author: Brett Cleary
Final Report • 2020-01-17 • 970.44 KB


Following on from the success of the 2012, 2015 & 2017 National Recreational Fishing Conferences, the Australian Recreational Fishing Foundation was successful in securing a funding grant from the Fisheries Research and Development Corporation (FRDC) to deliver a National Recreational Fishing Conference in 2019. Holding a National Conference every two years allows sufficient time for issues, concerns and suggestions to proceed in a considered way and for actionable items to commence. The National Conference sought input from multi-jurisdictional and internationally recognised speakers and developed a forum to question the current, and drive the future, direction of recreational fishing in Australia. A regular National Conference also provides the opportunity for peer networks to meet, discuss and learn from other jurisdictions about how the challenges that the recreational fishing sector faces are being addressed.
The 2019 National Conference was held at the Hotel Grand Chancellor in Hobart, Tasmania on the 10th & 11th December 2019. The theme of the conference was focused on Citizen Science: Our Fishing. Our Research. Our Recreational Future. 127 people attended the 2-day conference which included a broad spread of people from peak bodies, state and federal government agencies, key industry stakeholders and grass roots fishers. Conference attendees also received entrance to a special screening of Al McGlashen’s film Life On The Line: The story of the Southern Bluefin Tuna.
Recfishing Research extended an invitation to all recreational fishers to apply for their bursary program to attend the 2019 National Recreational Fishing Conference. Recfishing Research aimed to send two representatives from each state in Australia to the Conference and all interested recreational fishers across Australia were invited to apply. The bursary program included a half-day introductory workshop for bursary recipients and Recfishing Research committee members, Networking opportunities with leaders in the recreational fishing community during the 2 days of the conference and half-day closing workshop to share lessons learned and future plans. The program was the continuation of an emerging leaders program for the rec sector which has been in place for a number of years. Identifying and developing people as part of a structured ongoing program will ensure continued positive engagement with rec sector representatives in a challenging and constantly changing environment.

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